Let's Celebrate Pet Birds!
T.J. Lafeber D.V.M.

Fear- The culprit


Fear-The Culprit

Understandably, most people like birds. And most birds would like people too, if fear didn't get in the way.

Why is fear such an important factor in birds?

Fear of animals (including people) has been ingrained into birds. At birth birds instinctively know that all animals might be dangerous predators and to fear them.

Birds in the wild have an almost perfect answer to every threatening situation. As soon as their "early warning system'' detects anything strange, they immediately take flight to an inaccessible height or to a place where they can hide. Flight is the answer to every problem that involves fear.

So successful has been escape by flight that birds never had to develop any other answer. Not that birds had much choice. Obviously, they are not fighters-their lightweight, delicate bodies could not withstand any kind of blow, and they don't have the muscle mass to strike with much force in return. Fast escape as a method of survival has enabled birds to become the most successful vertebrate on earth.

Flight is an automatic response in birds to fear. No thought process goes into action and no alternative action is considered. Their ''mind set'' has been programmed through heredity to take flight immediately whenever there is even a possibility of a threatening situation occurring. Birds have no choice-, no other response is available-, flight is the only answer.

In the wild immediate flight from every danger is effective, but what happens to the bird in captivity where no escape is possible? What happens when fear dominates their mind?

Fear prevents birds from thinking and acting normally. Fear can dominate every emotion, every behavior characteristic, and sometimes even interferes with basic instincts such as eating, preening, reproduction and feeding their young. Everything suffers until fear abates. Unsolved fear offers pet birds a poor to disastrous life.

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People put more fear into birds than guns do

Fear is the main barrier to birds becoming excellent pets.

Removing fear can successfully be accomplished by any average person.

At first, birds see people as dangerous predators-to be feared and avoided.

Remove fear and birds become loving pets, eager to live happily in our homes.


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